Communications between Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and Elon Musk were made public in a court document.
They describe how the couple’s relationship, which had a promising beginning, quickly deteriorated.
Elon Musk’s interest in Twitter shares and possibly joining the board of directors became apparent in late March.
Parag Agrawal contacts Elon on March 27 and says, “Hey Elon, great to be connected directly. I’d love to talk to you,” he says.
The message resonates with Elon Musk. Maybe tonight around eight?” he asks. All is well so far.
By the end of March, the deal has really heated up, and a hastily planned dinner is set up close to San Jose.
The rapid pace of change clearly thrills Mr. Agrawal. The richest man in the world is about to join the Twitter board of directors. Mr. Agrawal expresses his “excitement” at meeting Mr. Musk in person.
Twitter’s board chair Bret Taylor texts Musk about the dinner. He writes in a text, “I think they were looking for an Airbnb near the airport and there are tractors and donkeys.” The setting “wins for the weirdest place I’ve had a meeting recently,” he continues.
Despite being served in a farmyard, the dinner goes smoothly. “Remarkable for a variety of reasons. Really enjoyed it,” claims Mr. Agrawal.
Elon Musk’s board membership is announced a few days later.
Mr. Agrawal tweets that he is “super excited.”
All kinds of people start texting Mr. Musk as soon as the announcement becomes public.
Joe Rogan, a podcaster, asks Elon Musk if he plans to “liberate Twitter from the censorship happy mob.”
Mr. Musk responds, “I will offer advice, which they may or may not choose to heed.
Jack Dorsey, the former CEO of Twitter, informs Elon Musk on April 5 that Mr. Agrawal is “an incredible engineer,” but that Twitter’s board is “terrible.”
By April 7, Mr. Agrawal and Mr. Musk are enhancing their coding credentials, marking the beginning of what appears to be a wonderful working partnership.
For twenty years, Mr. Musk says, “I wrote heavy duty software.” I communicate much more effectively with engineers who can perform hard-core programming than I do with program managers or MBA types.
“In our next conversation, treat me like an engineer instead of a CEO, and let’s see where we get to,” Agrawal responds.
“You got it,” responds Mr. Musk.
Then the worst happened.
On April 9, Mr. Musk tweeted a question about why the most popular Twitter accounts weren’t tweeting as frequently. Is Twitter going away? he queries.
This tweet has Mr. Agrawal fuming. Later on that day, he texts:
‘Is Twitter dying?’ is a free-for-all tweetable subject. or anything else about Twitter, but it’s my obligation to inform you that, at this time, it’s not assisting me in improving Twitter.
The next time we speak, I’d like to give you my perspective on the degree of internal distraction we are currently experiencing and how it is impairing our capacity to complete our work.
Elon Musk is infamous for despise being told what to do, particularly regarding whether or what he can tweet.
We don’t know what is going on behind the scenes, but Elon Musk appears to be enraged by this message. A volley of irate messages are sent by him a few hours later.
What accomplished this week?
I won’t be joining the board… Time is being wasted on this. Will present a proposal to privatize Twitter.
The texts appear to have Mr. Agrawal perplexed.
He calls Bret Taylor, who makes a valiant effort to comprehend what is happening.
“Parag just called me and brought up our recent text exchanges. Can you speak?” he inquires.
It won’t work to fix Twitter by talking to Parag, claims Mr. Musk. “Serious action is required.”
“Can we talk this through for ten minutes?” Asks Mr. Taylor.
“You’ve been a member of the board for about 24 hours. I understand your point, but I just want to know why you made the abrupt change,” he continues.
Elon Musk carries out his plans. He makes a $44 billion offer to buy out Twitter. The offer is accepted by the board on April 25.
The following day, Jack Dorsey tries once more to mend their broken relationship. He plans a phone call. Not well happens.
Following the conversation, Mr. Musk texts Mr. Dorsey, saying, “You and I are in complete agreement.” Parag is simply moving too slowly and making an effort to appease people who will never be satisfied, regardless of what he does.
“At least it became clear that you can’t work together,” Mr. Dorsey responds.
From there, Mr. Musk’s relationship with Twitter only gets worse.
In July, Mr. Musk makes a final attempt to void the agreement completely. Twitter nevertheless gives the purchase approval in September.
Mid-October will see a court hearing in Delaware that will determine whether he can walk away or must purchase the business.
The messages, however, reveal that the relationship between Mr. Musk and the CEO of Twitter had already soured much earlier.
They also state that Parag Agrawal will need to find employment elsewhere if Mr. Musk is forced to purchase Twitter.